Finally, Get the Nose You've Always Wanted

 Rhinoplasty- The "Nose Job"

Rhinoplasty is the technical term for many different types surgery that reshape the nose. Patients may have rhinoplasty done for both cosmetic and health reasons. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, more than 135,000 nose reshaping procedures are done in the U.S. every year, making rhinoplasty a top five cosmetic surgery choice.

Depending on the reason for your rhinoplasty, your insurance may or may not cover the procedure. If you are having the surgery to enhance your appearance it probably won't be covered. But if you are having the surgery because of an accident, injury or breathing problem, your insurance may pay for it.

Finding a board certified cosmetic surgeon is the first and perhaps most important step once you've decided to have rhinoplasty. He or she can advise you as to which type of nose reshaping procedure would be most beneficial. You can discuss what aspects of your nose and overall facial appearance you'd like to see improved. Most cosmetic surgeons can now take your picture and with computer graphics, show you what you will look like after reshaping. At the very least, a surgeon should be able to show you before and after pictures of previous rhinoplasty patients.

Some of the things rhinoplasty can change about your nose include the size, length, nostril size and location, width and it can eliminate any bumps or curves in the nose structure. If you have a deviated septum, which is when the cartilage and bone that separates your nostrils becomes off-center, having rhinoplasty to correct it can improve your breathing and may be covered by insurance. 

An ideal candidate for rhinoplasty is someone who has either medical or aesthetic reasons for getting their nose reshaped and is in overall good health. As with most surgeries, you won't be able to eat or drink the night before the procedure and if you are a smoker you should stop that as well. Smoking can cause reduced blood flow to the skin and surgery site, so it could negatively impact the healing process of your nose. You also shouldn't drink alcohol for about a week before your rhinoplasty or while your nose is healing after the procedure. Be sure to also discuss with your cosmetic surgeon any medications you are taking or health conditions you have prior to the surgery.

Basically rhinoplasty is grouped into two types of procedures; open and closed. As you can probably guess, open rhinoplasty involves incisions on the outer part of your nose. This type of procedure is more complex and invasive and is used when more extensive reshaping is done to your nose.

With closed rhinoplasty, the surgeon will make incisions inside your nose. This method is for less extensive reshaping.

In both open and closed rhinoplasty, after the incisions are made the cosmetic surgeon detaches the bone structure, cartilage and tissues in your nose and goes from there to reshape and repair the nose. 

You can expect to have either local anesthesia or general anesthesia when you have rhinoplasty. It's an outpatient procedure though. The surgery time varies a lot depending on what type of procedure you are having and how much reshaping is done. It can take anywhere from one to three hours, with longer times for very extensive reshaping.

After nose surgery you can expect to have a splint, cast, and possibly some packing in your nostrils to help keep the new shape intact. Breathing through your nose won't be an option for about 24 hours after the procedure. Neither will sneezing or blowing your nose. You can expect some swelling, bruising, a small amount of bleeding and some pain after surgery. The pain is easily controlled by medication and usually only lasts a day or two. The swelling can last two weeks or more, but cold packs can help.

The splint, cast or any packing will be taken off and out after about a week. You may still opt to have another smaller splint put on the outside of you nose to protect it until it is healed. Until your nose is fully healed you have to avoid any bumps or blows to the nose and face, so you may need to refrain from any sporting activities you normally do.

You should be able to go back to work in a week to ten days after having rhinoplasty.

In a month almost of the swelling should be gone, but it could take as long as a year for all of the swelling to disappear.

Nearly all surgery carries some risk, and possible risks associated with rhinoplasty include the following.

  1. Post-surgical infection.
  2. Excessive bleeding.
  3. Breathing problems.
  4. Septal Perforation (Whistling noise when speaking due to a hole or tear in the septum.)
  5. Complications from anesthesia.


Unless your rhinoplasty is performed because of medical reasons, your insurance probably won't cover the cost. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery estimates that the average cost for rhinoplasty is about $4,300. There are additional costs for the anesthesia, operating room and other fees. Those can add another $2,000 or more.

If you aren't satisfied with the results of your initial procedure, revision rhinoplasty can be an option but it is even more expensive because it's more difficult to perform.